Things That Matter

According To This Fox News Anchor, The El Paso Terrorist Is Right, There Is An Invasion Of Hispanics

Earlier this week Brian Kilmeade went on Fox& Friends to defend the use of the term “invasion” when talking about the situation at the U.S./Mexico border.

He was responding to a tweet by Barack Obama, which went far beyond the usual “thoughts and prayers” template we’re used to seeing.

Obama specifically called out the rhetoric used by our country’s leadership. At rallies and conferences and television panels, you’ll hear the same words being thrown around – Invasion, Infestation, Hordes.

Here’s what Brian Kilmeade said on Fox & Friends:

It’s unclear where Kilmeade is receiving his numbers from. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics, 71,999 individuals were apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border last month which is actually down from previous months. Even if you took an average total per month for the year, the number still hovers around 89,000, more than half of which are women and children, many of whom are applying for asylum.

But that’s beside the point, I guess.

The real reason why people are talking about Brian’s recent statements is because he is defending the word usage of the President and the El Paso shooter.

Even after it was made known that the El Paso shooter used the same language in his manifesto that is frequently used by the President and others in his support network, it seems that no one intends to re-evaluate the impact of how they speak about immigrants.

People were calling out Fox for basically endorsing white Supremacist talking points.

How can you be ok with repeating the exact same language used by a terrorist? And not just repeating it, actually defending it!

In fact, they are ready to double down in what can be seen as an irresponsible use of language.

So if you take a word like “invasion” or “hordes” or “infestation”, because of the context we usually see these words in, we may get the sense that there is a battle to be won. “Infestation” certainly drums up a visceral feeling of uncleanliness.

People are pretty upset about the refusal to take any responsibility for how the El Paso shooter might have become radicalized by the ideas they push forward. 

Fox News, the President, and basically every politician associated with the NRA, Are blaming everything from social video games, Gary marriage, and even drag queens. Literally everything except guns and white supremacy.

Some are even calling for advertisers to pull support from the show.

How much do words matter? Quite a bit according to a 2016 study by researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Southern California. The study details how words can impart positive or negative feelings based on the context they are usually used in. The speaker may not have the intention of influencing the listener in a certain way, but it happens anyway. 

Irene Sanchez wrote a well-research article about the long history of violence against Latinos in the United States for CNN recently. In the article, she talks about how hate crimes against Latinos has risen by 24% since Trump took office and does not believe it is a coincidence. She says, “All these words are used to describe us and our communities to dehumanize us and justify use of violence…equating us to pests, less than human, and undeserving of any rights.” 

Couple this with the fact that repetition is infectious. This language is repeated over and over again in different venues across multiple platforms. In a 2016 study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, the researchers write, “In two experiments we demonstrate that selectively repeating information in favor of a particular decision alternative changes preference ratings in favor of this alternative and makes a decision for this alternative more likely.” In other words, you can definitely influence someone to have a certain opinion just by making sure they hear what you want them to believe over and over again.

The specific words being used as the conversation about immigration continues to broil on, hold a lot of power in how the public perceives and in turn responds to the information they are being given. We can’t be surprised when words that imply violence beget violence. Does anyone think Trump, Kilmeade, Fox & Friends, and others don’t KNOW that? Please.

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People Have Taken To The Streets Across The Country In Breonna Taylor Protests

Things That Matter

People Have Taken To The Streets Across The Country In Breonna Taylor Protests

@KRISTENCLARKEJD / TWITTER

Cities across the U.S. are seeing a new wave of unrest following the grand jury’s finding on the Breonna Taylor case. Emotions are high as people protest against the lack of charges against the officers who were involved in Taylor’s death.

Protesters are raising their voices after the decision not to charge all of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death.

Breonna Taylor was shot and killed on March 13 when police raided her apartment. The 26-year-old ER technician was sleeping when the police executed a “no-knock” warrant. However, police had the wrong address and Taylor’s boyfriend, believe their lives were in danger, fired at the police. Taylor was shot and killed in her apartment that night.

Major cities across the country saw major demonstrations spurred by the anger against the justice system.

A grand jury found one officer responsible for wanton endangerment after firing his weapon into neighboring apartments. There were no charges tied directly to Taylor’s death. The lack of charges has angered activists and advocates who are seeking significant police reform to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.

People have become hyper-aware of the issue and are paying attention to the outcomes.

Protest signs in different crowds show that the American people are paying attention. The Black Lives Matter movement became the cause at the forefront of American mentality since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death sparked national outrage and renewed energy into fighting to stop the disproportionate violence Black men, women, and children face at the hands of police.

Some motorists have turned violent against the protesters.

Video captured in both Denver and Los Angeles show vehicles driving through crowds of protesters. In Denver, the driver claims to have acted in self-defense after protesters surrounded his car. The driver claims that he did not intend to hurt anyone but reacted when protesters shattered his windshield.

In Louisville, police arrested the only Black woman in the Kentucky state legislature for protesting.

State Rep. Attica Scott was arrested for first-degree rioting, which is a class-D felony. The Louisville Metropolitan Police Department arrested 24 people Thursday night while protesting the decision not to charge the officers. Rep. Scott was arrested with other and charged with first-degree rioting and two misdemeanors for unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.

“Our call to action is to continue to make sure that the city of Louisville understands that we will not go away, that we will continue to demand the defunding of police and the dismantling of this police department because it’s corrupt from the inside out, from the bottom to the top,” Scott told NPR before the grand jury decision. “And it cannot continue to function in the way that it does.”

Taylor’s death has mobilized the nation with celebrities and politicians calling for justice.

The fight for racial justice and a systemic change to our justice and policing systems is ongoing. The people are tired of being scared and are taking a stand with their protests.

If you are out there protesting, send us your videos and photos so we can see your activism in action!

READ: Oprah Winfrey Honors Breonna Taylor With Historic O Magazine Cover

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Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

Entertainment

Report Shows That Immigration Narratives On TV Are Latinx-Focused And Over-Emphasize Crime

The media advocacy group Define American recently released a study that focused on the way immigrant characters are depicted on television. The second-annual study is entitled “Change the Narrative, Change the World”.

Although the study reports progress in some areas of onscreen representation, there is still a long way to go.

For example, the study reported that half of the immigrant characters depicted on television are Latino, which is consistent with reality. What is not consistent with reality, however, is how crime-related storylines are still an overrepresented theme in these storylines.

The study shows that on television 22% of immigrant characters have crime storylines show up as part of their narratives. These types of storylines further pedal the false narrative that immigrants are criminals, when in reality, they’re just everyday people who are trying to lives their best lives. Ironically, this statistic is an improvement on the previous year’s statistics in which crime themes made up 34% of immigrants’ stories on TV.

These numbers are further proof that the media feels stories of Latino immigration have to be about sadness and hardship in order to be worth watching.

According to Define American’s website, their organization believes that “powerful storytelling is the catalyst that can reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.”

They believe that changing the narratives depicted in entertainment media can “reshape our country’s immigration narrative and generate significant cultural change.” 

“We wanted to determine if seeing the specific immigration storylines influenced [viewers’] attitudes, behavior, or knowledge in the real world,” said Sarah Lowe, the associate director of research and impact at Define American to Variety. “And we were reassured and inspired to see the impact it had.” 

Define American’s founder, Jose Antonio Vargas, is relatively optimistic about the study’s outcomes, saying that the report has “some promising findings” and the numbers “provide [him] with hope”. He added that there are still “many areas in which immigrant representation can improve”.

via Getty Images

Namely, Vargas was disappointed in television’s failure to take an intersectional approach to immigration in regards to undocumented Black immigrants. 

“Black undocumented immigrants are detained and deported at higher rates than other ethnic groups,” Vargas told Variety. “But their stories are largely left off-screen and left out of the larger narrative around immigration.” 

“Change the Narrative, Change the World” also showed that Asian and Pacific Islander immigrants are also under-represented on television compared with reality. Also worth noting, male immigrants were over-represented on television compared to reality, while immigrants with disabilities were also under-represented.

The study also showed that when viewers are exposed to TV storylines that humanize immigrants, they’re more likely to take action on immigration issues themselves. 

The effect that fictional entertainment narratives have on viewers further proves that representation does, indeed, matter. What we watch as entertainment changes the way we think about other people’s lived experiences. And that, in turn, can change the world.

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